HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? March 2014 edition! [through March 31, 2014]

Hello all fellow addicts, hope all is well and you are as usual on the happy hunt for new or new-to-you cookbooks and books about food. What are you coming across and/or acquiring that tickles your fancy these days?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Today I bought One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two by Carla Snyder. It's 3.99 on kindle right now and the recipes looked really good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rasputina

      I'd love to hear more about this book!

      1. re: roxlet

        There are four chapters, pasta and grains, meat dinners, poultry and fish dinners. All the recipes include gram measurements.

        Recipes include fresh pepper linguine with olive packed tuna, capers and raisins, Lo mein with chicken, snow peas and peanut sauce, fontina and prosciutto stuffed chicken breasts with radicchio and fennel sauté.

        She has a blog called http://ravenouskitchen.com

    2. After reading the not perfect but thoroughly enjoyable “Provence, 1970,” about Julia Child, M. F. K. Fisher, Simone Beck, James Beard, Richard Olney, and Judith Jones, I began pulling some of their books off my shelves, many of which I hadn’t looked at in ages. I have Olney’s first book, “The French Menu Cookbook,” but not his “Simple French Food.” Decided that had to be remedied toot sweet. Should be here tomorrow.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        You won't regret that one.

        Can you tell me more about Provence, 1970? I've been considering giving it a read.

        1. re: MelMM

          "Provence, 1970" is definitely worth reading, although in my opinion it could have benefitted from a stronger editorial hand. It's repetitive, sometimes annoyingly so, and I don’t think the author makes a particularly strong argument for his premise that this was a seminal moment that ultimately changed how and what we in North America cook. Nonetheless, the book is fun because it’s gossipy (Richard Olney was evidently a real pompous ass and Simone Beck never thought Julia much of a cook) and, because so much of the information comes from diaries and exchanges of letters, you do get an excellent sense of the personalities and of what it must have been like to have been living, eating, and cooking in France before it began to be Americanized.

          1. re: JoanN

            I bought the Kindle edition and am now about halfway through. It's fun reading, and interesting as I have heard about some of these events from other sources and a different point of view. Have you ever read Olney's posthumously-published memoir, "Reflexions"? It's worth a read if you like this kind of thing. I have to say, Olney may have been a snob and/or a pompous ass, but it's the descriptions of his cooking that make my mouth water (and when I've made his recipes, they've certainly lived up to his reputation as a brilliant cook).

            1. re: JoanN

              Simone Beck never thought anyone other than herself was much of a cook... kinda like Madeleine Kamman. [oops!]

        2. Four cookbooks from the thrift store yesterday:

          Jehane Benoit's Encyclopedia of Cooking

          Rose's Celebration - Rose Levy Beranbaum

          The Martha's Vineyard Cookbook - Louise Tate King & Jean Stewart Wexler

          The Bombay Palace Cookbook - Stendahl (yes, just one name it seems...like Cher I suppose!) The book says he was/is? a "mentor to millions on matters of wine, food and fine dining". The recipes and photos definitely look promising.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Mmmmm Mme Benoît, I worship her. Her "Madame Benoît Cooks at Home" is wonderful. For the non-Canadians out there, she's pretty much our Jane Grigson and Julia Child rolled into one.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              My mom had a huge Jehane Benoit cookbook with a yellow cover, when we were growing up, maybe it was that one. I loved it. Mom moved in with us and I was going through all her cookbooks but could not find that one. I asked about it and she said she sent it to my sister. I was so disappointed since that was one of her cookbooks that I really coveted, if for nothing else than nostalgia. I am trying to figure out how to get it back from said sister but she lives in Boston and I am in CA. To be continued......

              1. re: nadiam1000

                I have both the English and French version of Mme. Benoit and if I pass one in a yard sale will snap it up. Her Encyclopedia of cooking is still available.

            2. I was able to borrow Anne Burrell's Own Your Kitchen from the NJ digital library for my Kindle. Sooooooo glad I didn't buy it! It is a lazy effort on her part and most of the recipes are things that she already made on her show (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef) so they are already on Food Network's web site. She may have changed a sauce or topping but it's still the same basic stuff. I think there literally was only one recipe out of the whole book that I would ever want to try.

              I also learned that I shouldn't ever buy a digital cookbook for my Kindle. I have an old-school Kindle Touch which is black and white. It works great for reading novels but all of the pictures of recipes are in black and white too which lessens the whole experience as you flip through.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Njchicaa

                I found that too, I only really started buying Kindle cookbooks when I got an iPad.

                1. re: buttertart

                  Is there a Kindle app for iPad? I am debating buying iPad and this could be a big deciding factor!

                    1. re: Njchicaa

                      Also for phones, I have my books on my Samsung Note II.

                    2. re: herby

                      I buy Kindle cookbooks all the time for my IPad. My fave is the Dirt Candy book because you can rearrange the introduction (it's set up like a graphic novel). Even with other books, I like that I can enlarge the text.

                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    Yes, I have an old kindle too and it is awful to view cookbooks on. But I also have the kindle app on my phone and my kids iPads (required for school) so I am able to make use of them.

                  2. My goal is to not have any books to report on this month!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: dkennedy

                      Does anyone know of a good translating app? Unfortunately I'm not able to convert dk's post into anything I can comprehend!! ; )

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        My app is not functioning well either - I think DK means to read and cook from her March books and post later. Something like "no reporting this month" - does that sound right? :)

                        1. re: herby

                          You are all very silly and made me smile!;)

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Lol. I thought you were on the wagon, bc!

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Good one, BC! I just don't understand that language.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Well, I didn't make it very far into the month before having to report to buying a new book, but this one is really a trade so I am not sure it counts. I had bought THE FARM as part of the 2014 promotion through TGC. It was backordered and they recently informed me that I wouldn't be getting it. After many emails and phone calls back and forth I finally managed to get them to honor my credit (which apparently disappeared with the backordered book) and so I used today towards ONE GOOD DISH. Hopefully this will be my only purchase this month.

                              1. re: dkennedy

                                Of course it doesn't count! You spent the money earlier in the year...

                            2. I bought a copy of Richard Olney's Simple French Food last week. I read some of it tonight...I wish I had more time to spend with it today! I am looking forward to diving into some of the recipes.

                              1. i can't wait for christina tosi's milk bar life... it was due out this month, but i think now the release date's been moved forward... she's amazing x

                                1. Dear dkennedy,

                                  The three Junior League books you recommended in last months' thread have arrived. One of them [New Mexico] is already festooned with post-its. I'm fairly sure this will happen to the other two. Thank you so much for mentioning these!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: nikkihwood

                                    Niki, I really like the New Mexico one too. I had to return the Virginia one because it reeked of cigarettes. Let me know if that one's a keeper as well.

                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                      The VA book is very old-school, with many 'can o' soup' recipes. It is also dessert-centric, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Not as many post-its for this one, but there are several. Because you can Amazon it for not a lot of money, I'd try it. Thank you again!

                                  2. Tartine is on kindle for 3.99 right now.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: rasputina

                                      Do you have it? Like it? Use it?

                                      1. re: herby

                                        I just bought it today, so I haven't cooked from it.

                                    2. Is anyone watching The Piglet results? Are you surprised at the winner? Are you going to buy the winning cookbook?

                                      I had planned on it, but decided on the runner-up instead! We'll see if it's a keeper?!

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: pagesinthesun

                                        I flipped through both at the bookstore and the runner up is more appealing to me. However, the only one I've purchased after reading through the Piglet tournament is Saving the Season.

                                        1. re: emily

                                          The same here - I am intrigued by Saving the Season but have no plans to buy it. I actually have not had luck in finding good books aside from Pok Pok lately. I recently returned The Persian Kitchen - I was excited about adding a Persian book to my collection but this is just another Middle Eastern book, not really Persian, and there are better ones already on my shelves.

                                          1. re: herby

                                            I had the feeling that I would feel the same way about The Persian Kitchen, herby. So, I opted for Roberta's. It can always be returned!

                                            1. re: pagesinthesun

                                              I am curious about Roberta's - please post your impressions once you had a chance to spend time with it.

                                        2. re: pagesinthesun

                                          I didn't think it was possible for me to be less interested in or sympathetic to David Chang... but that's okay, because David Chang is so into David Chang.

                                          1. re: ellabee

                                            I couldn't agree more! I was hoping for a true review penned by Chang, not the interview with Peter al la Lucky Peach.

                                        3. Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook
                                          Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters
                                          A Taste of Haiti

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: emily

                                            A taste if Haiti sound interesting! Is it a new book? Pictures? How is it?

                                            1. re: Siegal

                                              Haven't received it yet and it isn't new. Bought it after a delicious meal at Tap Tap in Miami Beach.

                                              1. re: emily

                                                I heard good things about that place. I do live in Miami beach I should go! Lol

                                                1. re: Siegal

                                                  Wait a while; still not very safe in more ways than one.

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    I meant the restaurant not the country :) but thx for the concern

                                                    1. re: Siegal

                                                      Of course! How silly of me - need to work on my reading comprehension :)

                                                2. re: emily

                                                  Did they have that killer hot and vinegary slaw-like condiment/salad at the restaurant? Is there a recipe for it in the book? There was a Haitian restaurant close to our place in Brooklyn and they served it.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    They did have a spicy white vinegar condiment on the table. I think it's called pikliz and it looks like there is a recipe in the book. Haven't received it yet, though (Jessica's Biscuit is so much slower than Amazon!).

                                              2. re: emily

                                                Love the soda bread recipe in the Heirloom Baking book.

                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                  Good to know, and that is an excellent book all around.

                                              3. I have finally added Ad Hoc at Home to my growing "Kellection". I have no idea why I've waited so long & a lot of the recipes look amazing, per usual for TK.

                                                (Side note: It came in the mail yesterday so I sat down in the living room to flip through it... and promptly burst into tears reading "dinner for dad" - TK's dedication to his father who had recently passed away. Gaah.)

                                                1. I just received this book on an Inter-Library loan from the University of Southern Mississipi.

                                                  My son recommended this book for me to read.

                                                  French Taste in Atlantic Canada 1604-1758
                                                  Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Chantal Vechambre

                                                  It has history as well as recipes-
                                                  One column or page is in English and the other in French-
                                                  not as hard to follow as I thought. I t also a good way for me to brush up on my French.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                    Wow.. that would be interesting, if only to see what people actually ate then!

                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                      I love that the U of Southern MS HAD the book, in view of the state of the library at one U I know about up here.

                                                    2. I took Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman. I perused it cover to cover and it is definitely on my to order list.

                                                      1. Duck, Duck, Goose (Shaw): I am not a hunter but the recipes arelooking very promising

                                                        Dessert Fourplay (Iuzzini): Very nice book for dessert but all plate recipes split up in small components so that you don't have to make the complete plate.

                                                        1. Gotta have The New Persian Kitchen!

                                                          1. Cooking by James Peterson

                                                            Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young

                                                            I have a bunch of cookbooks (78!) but I tend to read them (actually, more like refer to them) more than I actually follow recipes from them. I like to get general ideas from them, but don't follow recipes very often, even though I would really like to. I don't don't don't know why it's so incredibly hard for me to follow recipes out of a cookbook. Maybe I find the process to be too time consuming? Maybe I just don't ever feel like making a special supermarket list and trip just to follow a recipe out of a book? I think one of the problems is that if I want to follow a recipe, I would want to do it NOW and not after my next supermarket trip. That's when the entire process starts to become tedious. Also, I like to refer to my cookbook collection (as well as online sources) before I embark on a new recipe that I've never tried before. By the time I've gone through them all and decided which recipe (or combination of) I would like to try, I've already spent at least one precious hour researching.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: sherrib

                                                              Cookbooks are often good for new techniques, ingredients or flavor combinations and so it can really help to push your cooking to the next level when you follow some recipes ver closely at the beginning. On the other side if you want to use recipes to get to the next level I wouldn't spend to many time to dig into too many other cookbooks at the same time once you have identified a recipe/cookbook which you would like to follow. So you can save time on the "research part"

                                                              1. re: sherrib

                                                                I finally purchased Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge - it was 40% off on Amazon. I had resisted thinking it might be too "Americanized" for some reason - but the recipes look great! All kinds of dishes I'd like to try.

                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                  Be sure to search for her COTM report threads, Emily. So many of us made quite a few recipes during that month, and are continuing to cook from her books.

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    I'll be going back over those threads and taking notes.

                                                                  2. re: emily

                                                                    Yes, the recipes look outstanding! If I can get my act together, I hope to do more than just skim through it.

                                                                2. Recipes from the Root Cellar finally came in at the library for me, so I braved the elements (disgusting freezing rain and sleet - enough already) to go pick it up. I've only had about a second but I'm excited to sit down with it. Looks good so far. Thanks to Gio for the inspiration.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    LLM... you're going to love it. It was great during the Winter, and I'm still cooking from it. I also bought her Serving Up the Harvest. The recipes are grouped according to all four Seasons, which makes perfect sense, with equally delicious recipes.

                                                                    What I love about Chessmen is that she uses easy to find ingredients and her palate seams to be similar to mine. I haven't the slightest qualm about increasing certain ingredients at all. Everything comes out just great!. Another thing is she has that irrepressible Vermont spirit and sensibility that I'm so fond of.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      I'm excited, while also worried that I will end up needing to buy it ... I'd been SO good for a while there.

                                                                    1. On an impulse I just ordered Barbara Tropp's China Moon Cookbook. I was reading something that triggered the thought to look at the recipes on EYE and that did it. If I'm not mistaken she has many fans here.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        I bought that again a couple of years ago -- it came out just after we got back from Taipei and of course then I knew Everything About Chinese Food There Was To Know (hah!) and thought she was wrong on several points -- and found the first part very interesting, but didn't get to the recipes. Must do.
                                                                        She's the first I saw to explain the seemingly-odd "fish-flavored" description on menus (in Chinese and English). Since the foods don't taste fishy or the seasonings used are not always used with fish, she posited that it was a corruption of Yu (the kingdom that is now more or less Sichuan) and Xiang (which is Hunan). This makes beaucoup sense since the flavorings are typical of those areas. The words are homonyms for the characters in the term used now. They are much less common and more complicated than those for fish and flavor, so she posited it was easier for the usual ones to be written and used.
                                                                        Of course fresh back from Taipei I thought that was a lot of hoo-hah.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Thanks BT. We've made a bunch of fish-flavored recipes from Dunlop that we liked so I'm interested to see what Tropp does. Initially I was quite taken with Irene Kuo's The Key, etc., but after a couple of blah dishes I thought I'd see what Tropp had to offer. I ought to really stop buying more Chinese cookbooks I have the best with Dunlop and Young as it is.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            The Key is best for technique, I find.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              Interesting. I have a feeling I'm not going to find better than Dunlop! Nor do I need to.

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            I had great success with her earlier book. Much less with China Moon.
                                                                            I keep plugging Bear and Fish Family asa cool modern take on Chinese, but it gets no traction.
                                                                            If you lied Chinese food in Taiwan, try Blue Eyed Dragon (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Eye-Dragon...) (Australian cookbook). Close as I have ever had to great Taiwanese cooking.

                                                                            1. re: Westy

                                                                              I actually bought Bear and Fish Family after seeing one of your earlier posts. Alas, I have not been able to spend any quality time with it yet but just flipping through the book, I'm glad I bought it. Thank you!

                                                                        2. Today we had a book exchange at work. Normally folks just exchange novels but much to my delight, someone brought in some cookbooks today! In exchange for 2 Linwood Barclay paperbacks I rec'd:

                                                                          Michel Roux Sauces Savoury & Sweet - hardcover in new condition

                                                                          Grass Roots Cookbook by Jean Anderson - softcover - this looks really interesting! A mix of recipes and stories it seems.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            That is a great book, a portrait of American cooking of the time.
                                                                            I am so happy Jean Anderson is getting the recognition here.
                                                                            As I recall the chapters or a lot of the material also appeared in Family Circle or Women's Day (Family Day, as certain people in my house refer to them) at the time when they had much better food writing than they do now.

                                                                          2. From Amazon:

                                                                            CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES by Carey Jones & Robyn Lenzi - This is a cute little book that I spotted in a book shop and decided I'd like to add it to my collection. mr bc is our resident ccc-lover and this book's re-imagined versions piqued my interest. I also loved that they label cookies as "chewy" "crispy" or "soft". Chapters include: The Classics, Not Just Chocolate, Savory Sweet, Alternative Ingredients, Grown-up Cookies and Beyond Drop Cookies. Pass the milk...

                                                                            THE NEW PERSIAN KITCHEN - I've had this on my radar but The Piglet reviews further enticed me and compelled me to hit the "add to cart" button. I haven't cracked the cover yet.

                                                                            THE MODEL BAKERY COOKBOOK - Somehow it had escaped me that this much-loved Napa bakery had produced a cookbook. I don't expect there to be anything earth-shatteringly new in this book but I am hopeful that it will guide me in producing reasonable facsimiles of some of the lovely baked goods we've purchased there during past visits over the years.

                                                                            1. I just ordered The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                I have that on Kindle and have scanned it, I know it's a big fave here so I need to spend more time on it.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  I flirted with that book on Amazon, but I didn't ask it out. Be curious about what you think.

                                                                              2. Jean Anderson and muffin fans: Be on the lookout for her next book, "Mad for Muffins".

                                                                                1. Based on rstuart's pointing me to an article in the Toronto Star, decided to get the TO Star cookbook, which is on Ontario food...was under $20 on ABE, total.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    That's a good deal! Hope that it's worth it... I still have it on hold at the library..

                                                                                  2. From Costco:

                                                                                    NOM NOM PALEO by Michelle Tam + Henry Fong - I know nothing about this book but its format with comic strip style layout, lots of photos and cartoon characters caught my interest. I can always return it if it doesn't appeal.

                                                                                    From a Thrift Store @ $3.99 each:

                                                                                    THE HARROWSMITH COUNTRY LIFE BAKING BOOK - I love my Harrowsmith books and this one looks great with lots of old favourites I haven't thought about in years...Tweed Squares for example!

                                                                                    THE CONCISE GASTRONOMY OF ITALY by Anna Del Conte - in brand new condition I might add!

                                                                                    THE GOOD FOOD OF ITALY REGION BY REGION by Claudia Roden -

                                                                                    GREEK GASTRONOMY COOKERY & WINES by Sophia Souli - this looks great. Published in Greece, lots of photos, lovely authentic dishes!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. now in proper thread

                                                                                      Never was so big on cookbooks, considered them antiquated in the world of google havent relied on them much since the Moosewoods got me started in college (art school veggie friends) recently realized google takes you where you wanted to go - books are more of an exploration . Always the thrifter my "new" cookbook this month is Curnonsky - AKA Larousse Traditional French Cooking. I am overwhelmed.

                                                                                      1. Spent the weekend luxuriating in Ojai. While there, we went to their very charming and much talked about bookstore, Bart's Books. It is an outdoor bookstore, with both new and used titles. I picked up a used copy of CHEVYS AND RIO BRAVO FRESH MEX COOKBOOK. I had never heard of it, but the recipes looked like the type my family would enjoy, so onto my shelf it went. Apparently it is by the owners of a chain of "Fresh Mex" restaurants. I think they fall someplace in between fast food and a sit down restaurant. Based on the recipes, I think I would eat there. Do any of you own it? The recipes look approachable and creative. Things like Yucatan Chicken Skewers, Margarita Scallops, Fajita Nachos, and Chile Honey Glazed Prawns.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                          I've owned that cookbook for over 10 years and I've cooked quite a bit from it. We used to eat at Chevy's ( I haven't lived near one in over 4 years now) and I bought my cookbook there when it was released.

                                                                                          I like their no cans motto. Their fuego spice mix has been become a staple. I can't remember anything I've made from the cookbook that I didn't like. The tomatillo salsa, ranchero sauce, salsa chicken, rio bravo red rice, beans a la charra, the black beans, their wings of fire are a favorite. I use their yucatan marinade on bone in chicken pieces and then grill them. I use their agua negra marinade and fuego spice mix for skirt steak fajitas.

                                                                                          The sweet hot jalapeño jelly is fabulous, I really need to get around to making it. It was served with the chicken wings in the restaurant. My daughter has been bugging me for ages to make the sweet corn tomalito.

                                                                                          It's probably one of my most cooked from cook books. My husband really likes the recipes and his family is from Mexico although he was raised in CA.

                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                            Thank you so much for your very detailed response Rasputina! I knew I had found a gem, but it is ever so nice when someone I trust already has spent time with the book and makes recommendations pointing out where to start. I bought shrimp and plan on making the Chile Honey Glazed Prawns tonight and I have bookmarked the rest of the recipes you suggested.

                                                                                        2. Received First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More) - lots of creative recipes - definite keeper!

                                                                                          Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry (after reading the recent COTM recap thread)

                                                                                          Cook This Now (same as above)

                                                                                          Isabel's Cantina - unfortunate that there is no preview on Amazon and it's not in any local bookstores, but thought I'd try it out. Any favorite recipes from this one?

                                                                                          Pre-ordered 80 Cakes from Around the World by Claire Clark (former French Laundry pastry chef - there is a list of recipes on Amazon and I couldn't pass up exposure to so many cakes I'd never heard of!)

                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                            There are some recipe reviews from Isabel's Cantina on one of the recent threads. I would have guessed it was this one. Maybe last month's version? Maybe the nominating thread? Anyway, it got me excited and I've now got the book. I've made 2 things so far and plan to make another on Thursday. I think (since it looks as if it won't be the next COTM) that I may start a cooking from thread.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              The Isabel reviews are under the Cookbook a Week Challenge thread here:

                                                                                              Would love to see your reviews.

                                                                                              1. re: stockholm28

                                                                                                Thanks so much for finding them! I'm having a medical procedure (nothing scary) done tomorrow and am having to fast today so I'm trying not to think too much about food today (so why am I on chowhound???). Will try to get a thread up maybe Wed. or Thursday. Hope you'll cook along.

                                                                                                  1. re: stockholm28

                                                                                                    Emily - I am a bit of a broken record about this but make the Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding from Isabel's Cantina!!!!!

                                                                                                    The 1st prize Pies sounds so great! I don't bake pies but I really want that book!

                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                      The Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe does look good!

                                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                                        It is a thousand times better than it sounds! I used the mini frozen croissants available at TJs and it makes the perfect amount for this dish.

                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                          This is a good tip. Thanks.

                                                                                                          So does anyone else want to play if I put up an Isabel's Cantina thread?

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                            I'll play. And I'll repost some of the reviews that are on the CAWC thread.

                                                                                                  2. My sweetie recently bought me Michele Scicolone's "The Italian Slow Cooker" and while a lot of the recipes sound great, so far I have not been that impressed with the ones I've made. The pasta fagioli was bland and one-note in (limp) texture, like so much crockpot food seems to be, and last night I make the milk-"braised" pork loin and....eh. I think it would have been better just cooked low and slow on the stove or in the oven. I'm going to try a few more recipes this month, but otherwise this might end up being passed along to a friend who likes slow cooker meals more than I do.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: sockii

                                                                                                      I would have to concur. I have made three different sauces from the book (Butcher's sauce, turkey ragu, and the meat and mushroom ragu), and they all came out just ok- but definitely nothing I thought was worth repeating. It can't get much easier than making a sauce in a slow cooker, so I haven't been motivated to try anything more complicated. If I didn't have the e-book version, I probably would have culled it by now.

                                                                                                      1. re: sockii

                                                                                                        I've only made one recipe from the book, the Beef in Barolo and fortunately my experience was excellent. We really loved the dish. Looking at the few recipe review in EYB though, my experience definitely seems to be the exception. Interestingly I prepared a dish from The Mediterranean Slow Cooker on Sunday and was just heading to the "Cooking from your SlowCooker" thread to report on that. Guess what? We loved that too!

                                                                                                        I'll keep my fingers crossed that your next experiences are more positive sockil. FWIW, I have a number of MS's Italian cookbooks and I count them among my favourites. Her recipes have been quite reliable in my experience.

                                                                                                      2. My copy of Mast Brothers Chocolate cookbook finally came to me from the library. It's as beautiful as I remembered from a quick bookstore perusal. Alas, my fears about the amazon reviews seem to be true. Many of the amazon reviewers noted that the recipes don't seem to work for a variety of reasons. The instructions are fairly sparse. I can overlook this on some recipes since I've baked many cookies and cakes. But, some of the ingredients for the recipes may be incomplete as well. Looking at the chocolate cake recipe, the ingredients are eggs, sugar, cake flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. No butter, no oil, no other fat. That doesn't seem right to me in a cake recipe. For the accompany frosting recipe, the ingredients are sugar, cream and dark chocolate. But, the accompanying instructions are caramelize sugar until brown, heat cream in a separate pan then pour over sugar. Bring it all to a boil until the sugar dissolves. pour the (now) caramel sauce through a sieve into the bowl of chopped chocolate. Let melt and then stir until it emulsifies. I don't know, my gut seems to think that may not work either. The cake in the chocolate stout trifle also doesn't have any fat in it. Maybe I'm really off base, but a cake without butter or oil just seems wrong to me.

                                                                                                        On a separate cookbook note, Caramel by Carole Bloom also came in. I'm pretty sure I read it about this book on one of these evil cookbook threads. This book looks fantastic. Has anyone made anything from it? I'm almost nervous to try one since I've been having dental issues. With my luck these days, a cap will be pulled out. But, I'm willing to sacrifice for a worthwhile recipe.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                          With your cooking skill I'd listen to your assessment above all others. Can these recipes be intuitively tweaked, or no do you think?

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            Thanks Gio. I think some of the recipes can be tweaked, although I'm not sure it's worth it with the myriad of recipes and cookbooks out there. I'm not sure I can intuitively tweak the cake or cookie recipes . For some reason, I don't mind the waste of flour, sugar, butter or even cocoa powder. But, the waste of chocolate in a failed recipe would bum me out. I mean, it's chocolate.

                                                                                                            It's a shame because it is such a pretty cookbook with a lot of intriguing flavor combinations.

                                                                                                        2. For my birthday last week, some friends went to my Amazon wish list. Even though I have a variety of cookbooks listed, they picked two dessert books since they always ask me to bring desserts to their dinner parties. They admitted some self-interest in their choices. So I ended up with:
                                                                                                          "The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book", by Marilyn M. Moore
                                                                                                          "Maida Heatter's Cakes", by Maida Heatter.

                                                                                                          Oh, and I popped into Goodwill the other day looking for a particular item, and on a total whim I picked up a copy of "Fiery Foods That I Love", by Paul Prudhomme. Goodwill prices make impulse purchases a little too easy, but it looks like a fun book.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: weem

                                                                                                            Happy belated birthday!

                                                                                                            Amazon wish lists are terrific - I love being able to get ideas for some of my harder to shop for friends and family.

                                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                              Thank you! Yes, I agree they are very handy. I use mine to help me keep track of books I'd like to get down the road when I have the disposable cash, and if others end up buying me something off the list in the meantime, so much the better.

                                                                                                          2. I just threw out my copy of the original Moosewood cookbook. It was all in tatters. I have a new hardcover copy I found in a used bookstore. It's the first one, the one that is badly organized and from before they ruined all the recipes making them healthy.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: SoCal Mother

                                                                                                              Yep. Those are the best ones. Lots of sour cream, as I recall.

                                                                                                              1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                and cheese. and butter on the phyllo pastries. and that banana bread.......full of fat and delicious. I have both new and old, and go back to the old far more often (and yes, it is falling apart).

                                                                                                            2. Momentous news: Our Lady of the Oven, Rose Levy Beranbaum, has a new book coming out...The Baking Bible!!! Sign me up NOW, sight unseen.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. I exercised restraint for the first 6 days after I realized this book had been published but today I caved. I've said it before but it's worth repeating. I am weak!

                                                                                                                Just ordered from Amazon:

                                                                                                                The Italian Vegetable Cookbook: 200 Favorite Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Pasta, Main Dishes, and Desserts by Michele Scicolone

                                                                                                                I'm a fan of Ms Scicolone and she's really in her element w Italian recipes. I expect I'll love this book. For those of you that might be tempted...it was just indexed today in EYB. Here you go:


                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                  Uh, oh. I almost wish I hadn't seen this, because I've been reasonably good p to now.

                                                                                                                2. I got an email about a $13 book sale at thegoodcook.com. I liked this price as opposed to the bundle sales, which seem to encourage me to order books I really don't want. The book I wound up ordering is the Orwasher's Bread Book, which is being published on April 1st. Orwasher's is a bakery in NYC that specializes in what I would call Jewish and German bakery breads. I am most interested in their recipe for corn rye, a bread that is extremely nostalgic to me, and which is extremely difficult to find. I have so many memories of growing up with this bread, have tea after school with the fresh bread slathered with salted butter. Yum! Can't wait to try it!

                                                                                                                  1. Today's Globe & Mail has an article about a newly released book entitled:

                                                                                                                    Under the Shade of the Olive Tree by Nadia Zerouali and Merijn Tol

                                                                                                                    They had me at the photo of Grilled Potatoes with Salsa Verde and Preserved Lemon.

                                                                                                                    The article and select recipes can be found here:


                                                                                                                    It's 3-5 weeks to ship on Amazon Canada so I've just added it to my Wishlist...but I can't say I wasn't tempted to pay an extra $5 and have it shipped right away from the UK!!

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. The Ginger Pig Meat Book by Tim Wilson and Fran Warde.

                                                                                                                        The library, it seems, is no longer a resource for me if I want to save money. I seem to be on a streak that every book I check out immediately goes on my wish list, or more often, into my cart. That's what happened with this book.

                                                                                                                        I actually feel pretty good about this purchase because I'm using it more as a resource to educate myself about subject I know nothing about, rather than as a cookbook.

                                                                                                                        The book is written by an English farmer and proclaims itself to be a manual for the inquisitive domestic cook. That's me to a tee, so once I started reading it, I had to own it.

                                                                                                                        This farmer started out 15 years prior (to the writing of this book) with a farm of three little pigs. He describes the various breeds available in England, their different characteristics, humane raising and slaughtering practices, and goes on to explain about the different cuts of meat. The same Is done for beef, veal, lamb, poultry, and game. Sadly, goat is skipped over.

                                                                                                                        The second section of the book, starting at page 101, provides recipes on a month by month basis. I can't really comment about that section of the book because I haven't even looked at it yet. But in terms of the first half of the book, I think it's an excellent resource.

                                                                                                                        I have recently started paying more attention to where my meat comes from, whether it's organic, and how it is fed. I am slowly learning that there are a whole lot more questions I should be asking but up to this point, I haven't known where to start. The only drawback for me is that this book concentrates on English breeds rather than breeds commonly found in the US, but the information is still very helpful and of course there is some crossover in terms of breeding.

                                                                                                                        I am really in love with this book and feel very grateful to have stumbled upon it. If any of you know of a US equivalent of this kind of book, I would love to hear about it.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                          Is this by the same people who run The Ginger Pig butcher shops in London?

                                                                                                                        2. Me again. Thrift store. Just over $20 got me:

                                                                                                                          IN PRAISE OF THE POTATO - Lindsey Bareham - I have her tomato book and roasted my tomatoes for the first time many years ago from a recipe there...and it's still a favourite. Very excited to get this one!

                                                                                                                          READY STEADY COOK - BBC - This programme used to air in Canada and I really enjoyed it. Though I wouldn't have sought this book out, for less than the price of my lattes or a magazine...how could I resist!!

                                                                                                                          NOODLE - Terry Durack - Unfortunately this isn't indexed in EYB though it seems to be on the bookshelves of 100+ members :( This looks like a great book.

                                                                                                                          AT HOME WITH MICHAEL CHIARELLO - can't say I'm his biggest fan but this book looks nice.

                                                                                                                          TOYS FOR CHEFS - Patrice Farameh - No, it's not a cookbook but what an amazing book with everything from appliances to tableware to high end ingredients. Think French Laundry size but with page after page of amazing kitchen/food stuff.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                            BC, I tried looking up the At Home Book with Michael Chiarello, and it looks like it might be a remarking of recipes in some of his other books. In any case, there are a lot of recipes in this book I would highly recommend, but since it is in a separate order than mine, I would have to spend some time with the index before I could make recommendations. I'll email you or report back here later.

                                                                                                                            I agree his style is a lot of marketing and that can be off putting, but his recipes are really very good. I probably have at least 10 go to's I took from his books. Probably more like 20 or 30. Spend some time with this book, it won't disappoint you. He uses grey salt in all his recipes and I think that is key to recreating them. When I use other sea salts, I don't really like them nearly as much. So buy yourself a bag of grey salt and settle into the book. Pensy's carries it and probably william sonoma. The Toys book sounds very fun - and dangerous!

                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                              Hi again BC,

                                                                                                                              I checked through the index posted on EYB to see which recipes, if any, were familiar to me. The first section seems to be pantry basics. This is in keeping with his other books (I have Casual Cooking and Tra Vigne) and both have a similar section. Despite the fact that most of this stuff you have read or seen before, this is a really great feature in his books. Many, many of MC's recipes are things you can make from a well stocked pantry (dry pantry as well as frozen) and with these on hand you will find yourself turning to this book for some very satisfying meals. A lot of the recipes for things like fennel spice rub, etc are things he also sells on his website, Napa Style. They are really good. If making these kinds of things does not appeal to you, you can buy his ready made rubs but I always make them from scratch so I love that he includes them. If you have any of his other books, this will probably be duplicative.

                                                                                                                              Second thing to know about MC is he is Calabrian and so a lot of his recipes feature the peppers from that region. I don't particularly love the Calabrian variation of heat, so I always substitute the peppers I am fond of in their stead. Either way, his recipes do run on the hot side so factor that in when deciding if you want to skip or modify the heat aspect in any way.

                                                                                                                              Finally, a great many of his recipes are available online either on Food or Cooking Chanel Network, or on the Napa Style website. If you are trying to decide if a recipe works, you can look at others' reviews. So many of them are really very good - I know from personal experience.

                                                                                                                              Now on to the specific recipes in this book. Most of them don't look familiar to me so it doesn't look like there is much overlap other than the pantry. The polenta bites with mushrooms are delish - I have made them before. That recipe must have been online. Also the slow roasted pork (forever roasted pork) looks like a variation of one in my books, it is also excellent. The other thing I would note is that his cocktails are very well balanced. If any cocktails are included, try them out. Good luck and enjoy it!

                                                                                                                              When you have time, review the food toys book you bought.

                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                dk I can't thank you enough for all this great information and for your enthusiasm for the book, it is indeed infectious!
                                                                                                                                I flipped through the book over breakfast this morning and there really are a lot of appealing recipes. It's especially good to know about the online reviews as well.

                                                                                                                                That Toy book really does look great. I'll be sure to review it when I have more time to spend with it. I've had to avoid it today as I have a ton of work to do! ; (

                                                                                                                          2. To fellow Torontonians: Balfour used books on College:
                                                                                                                            http://balfourbooks.squarespace.com/ has their annual 50% book sale. They always have tons of great cook-books: I saw volumes by Richard Sax, several Time-Life cookbooks, and more than one Joy of Cooking.. as well as some Donna Hay. It's over on Tuesday. I exercised amazing restraint and only bought one cookbook, "Forever Summer" by Nigella..

                                                                                                                            1. I just bought the BTC. Innovative twists on Southern food

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: oklou

                                                                                                                                What does BTC stand for? Sorry - this is probably something very obvious but my brain is able to get there this morning.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                  The title of the cookbook is: The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook. I have no idea what B.T.C. means, it's explained in the introductory essay, but here's a good review of the book:


                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                    Thank you so much Gio. I was really driving myself a little crazy trying to figure out what the acronym might mean. Sounds like it could be an adorable book.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                        Aha... There she is with the answer. Be The Change could certainly be a life motto, couldn't it. Thanks DK!.

                                                                                                                                2. I pre-ordered the Orwasher's Bread Book during TGC $13 book sale. Orwasher's is a bakery in NYC that specializes in German and Jewish breads. I am particularly anxious to try to make a corn rye, a favorite bread of my childhood, which is increasingly difficult to find. Like egg creams have neither cream nor eggs, a loaf of corn rye has no corn meal or flour, but I believe it does have rye flour.

                                                                                                                                  I also just bought a used copy of Jean Anderson's Doubleday Cookbook, thanks to a particularly gorgeous photo of a Russian beef and mushroom pie that buttertart posted. She is a sly one, no doubt about it!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    :: Jean Anderson's Doubleday Cookbook, ::

                                                                                                                                    Great, roxlet! Be sure to request it be indexed when you add it to your Eat Your Books bookshelf. Maybe yours will be the request that puts it in the queue...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                      Good idea -- I just requested it be indexed.

                                                                                                                                  2. I recently picked up the Pok Pok book from a trip to Portland, which means I'm super excited for April to come along, since it is COTM. I'm dying to make the wings.


                                                                                                                                    1. King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking and Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas.

                                                                                                                                      1. Acquired "Staff Meals from Chantarelle" by David Waltuck from the local library. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it is very approachable for weeknight or easy weekend cooking.

                                                                                                                                        From what I see everything is doable in a single unit, ie no "prepare 1 unit of recipe A, then use that as a component in recipe B". The recipes are also very friendly to convenience foods like prepackaged tortellini, so the recipes have clearly already been adapted to the home kitchen instead of the pro kitchen. I'm sure Chantarelle doesn't buy prepacked tortellini.

                                                                                                                                        On the other side of the coin, Waltuck leans heavily on restaurant staples like butter, wine, cream, and stock. That's great for me as I either have them or can acquire them.

                                                                                                                                        I got a great result last night from a baked ham. The recipe had me prepare a glaze, and a finishing sauce with stock, butter, and reserved glaze. Partnered with mashed potatoes was a 75 minute end to end process, almost entirely unattended. I'm going to be cooking from this book over the next few weeks, for sure.

                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                          I like that book a lot. Have had it for years and made a number of things from it. Not at home right now, and don't offhand recall which recipes I tried, but I don't think there was a bummer among them. There are a number of dishes with Latin and Asian influences, if I recall correctly. Makes sense, considering these were not only served to staff but usually prepared by staff.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                            oh good that sounds promising.

                                                                                                                                            While reading the book I noticed it was published nearly 15 years ago. I would guess if it were written today the recipes would feature fewer convenience foods and instead have more emphasis on making all of the components. It seems to be the way big time restaurant chefs are expected to write books these days. Which is a mixed blessing for the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                            I went on Amazon and looked at this book, and the kindle price was one I couldn't resist (especially since many of the reviews said the kindle version was nicely done).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                              It is a GREAT book. I enjoy my copy very much. I bet you will, too.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                Three votes yes - makes me happy. I figured at $10 it was worth a shot given the raves on Amazon. I like that it won't take up any bookshelf room too.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                  I have this book and it is currently tabbed on EYB in my "potential discard" bookmark. Can all of you who have it and love it convince me why it is so wonderful, I'd love to make use of it! I will warn all of you to never, ever make the sloppy joes. Yuk. They were inedible. I think that is what turned me off of the book and I've never gotten back on. Help a girl out...

                                                                                                                                          3. I keep looking at Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume. I do not usually cook this type of food but it is s beautiful book. I am going back tomorrow and am buying it.

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                              Ruthie, I remember reading not very favourable reviews here on Chow. Maybe search and read those before buying. Just saying :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                Thank you, I did buy it. I have been looking at it at Chapters as it was on the sales table and did like that there were some vegetarian options. I do like the recipes that I see so far, as they are simple and living in Montreal most of the ingredients are available as I live round the corner from a Persian grocery store. I also bought a book from a series by Michel Roux on Sauces, savory and sweet.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                  Ruthie, please come back and share your experience once you had a chance to use the book. I looked at it many times - it is a beautiful book!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                    Will do, It has some great pictures, history and recipes. I am not at all comfortable with this type of cooking and do not like garlic very much. In Montreal Lebanese fast foods are all over the place and I find the food heavy and garlic laden. I think this author branches out to various types of Arabic foods.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                      It's not a book I'm overly crazy about.

                                                                                                                                            2. Just a little heads up: Yotam Ottolenghi's new book, "Plenty More", is due to be published in September 2014.



                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                I think I am slightly overdosed on Yotam :)

                                                                                                                                              2. Thrift shop finds yesterday:

                                                                                                                                                Off the Shelf, cooking from your pantry by Donna Hay. Looks great! She is a favorite cookbook author and I trust her recipes. Very large book with many photos. I grabbed it because of my condiment addiction, hopefully some nice, quick ideas for using pantry items. I paid 2.99.

                                                                                                                                                Savory Baking by Mary Cech. I love baking but don't eat many sweets, so this looks perfect! Some really creative appetizers in here for summer parties. 1.99.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                  Oooh, nice find. The Mary Cech book is on my wishlist, along with about a hundred others. Am carefully avoiding thrift shops and library sales until I've cooked at least once from my unused cookbooks (now down to seven!)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                    sedimental, you might find this thread on cooking from Donna Hay useful. It covers all her books, magazines, etc., but I know there are several posts about recipes from Off the Shelf.